We attended the sneak peak of PBS Kids’ new show Molly of Denali at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian last week and we fell in love. Molly of Denali is a multiplatform (series, podcast, app, games and more) series premiering on July 15, 2019. It follows a feisty and resourceful 10-year-old Alaska Native Molly Mabray, her dog Suki, and friends on Alaskan adventures exploring kid-related issues like meeting new people, getting from one place to another, solving a problem, or mastering a skill. In true National Museum of the American Indian fashion, the premiere featured kids activities including meeting PBS Kids characters and making Inuit snow goggle replicas. The reception offered a delicious menu including Native Alaska foods prepared by the Mitsitam Cafe. Our kids loved the elk skewers and bread with blueberry sauce. The National Museum of the American Indian knows how to throw an event!
This soon to be PBS Kids hit show Molly of Denali is the first nationally distributed children’s series to feature a Native American lead character. Each episode follows Molly, her friends and family through daily life and adventures in Alaska from painting vegetables and building snow forts, to learning Native songs from the village elders, to a racing canoe competition.
The amount of Alaska Native involvement in Molly of Denali is impressive. Alaska Native voices are included in all aspects of the production, both on camera and behind the scenes. Every Indigenous character is voiced by an Indigenous actor. Alaska Native screenwriters and producers help bring the series to life. A group of Native Alaska advisors provided guidance for the series. We had the honor and pleasure of meeting some of the amazing people involved in Molly of Denali at the screening. We heard first hand accounts of growing up Indigenous and feeling invisible. We are excited for young Native American children to see modern indigenous people portrayed in media showcasing their cultural perspectives and values. This show is sure to capture the hearts of all children and expose them to the beauty of Alaska Native people and their home.
We know the anticipation is killing you, but don’t worry, the Molly of Denali podcast is live. The eight-part podcast is a prequel to the PBS Kids series and a great way to get to know Molly and her friends.
More About Molly of Denali
Molly of Denali is supported by a Ready To Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The series is designed for kids ages 4 to 8 and features maps, calendars, tables, books, websites, weather reports, text messages, articles, elders’ stories, archives, photos and Molly’s vlog.